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824 R. Chitiyo, S. W.

824 R. Chitiyo, S. W. Harmon technology integration framework result in six constraints identified in this study. For example, the absence of physical infrastructure because of lack of funding leads to poor electricity supply, which affects connectivity and Internet access, and results in large classes or group sizes having to share few Internet-connected computers. On the other hand, the absence of ICT policies and an integration framework play a part in budgetary constraints and the absence of appropriate staff development, which can be linked to the dearth in relevant and appropriate expertise, as well as to the issues concerning the cultural and contextual relevance of the integration of the technology. On the model in Fig. 1, the double arrows between constraints show the interconnectedness of the constraints across the board. Impact of the external operating environment The constraints to IT integration at universities in Zimbabwe, as well as their interconnectedness, need to be understood in the context of the institutions’ external operating environment, that is, circumstances that constitute the environment in which the universities find themselves operating, but over which they may have little or no control. It should be noted that the political instability in Zimbabwe, and the deteriorating relationship between Zimbabwe and key donors was noted as having affected potential investment and funding in the universities, thereby worsening the lack of funding, which is the main constraint and which itself results in, causes or affects all the other constraints discussed in this study. As pointed out in the analysis of the institutions’ analyses of their external operating environments, the hyper-inflationary environment resulting from the political instability makes it difficult for the universities to tackle these constraints. Transformative integration of IT As can be seen in the above discussion of the seven-first-order, and one-second-order barriers or constraints to IT integration by the lecturers, there is a perverse interconnectedness of these constraints across the board. It could be said that one or two constraints are likely to be the result of, or have a negative or undesirable effect or impact on the other constraint(s). It is our view that given this pattern, (interconnectedness of constraints) there is need for a holistic and systematic approach to tackling the constraints in a transformative manner. Although White (1999) suggests that the transformative approach to technology integration begins in teacher education, our position is that transformation in Zimbabwe has to start at some level of national leadership, in order to have the desired transformative effect on teacher education in universities as well as throughout the education system. Based on the transformative approach to IT integration, lecturers’ conceptualization of Educational Technology, their integration of IT as well as the interconnectedness of institutional support and constraints to IT integration, it is our belief that the main solution lies in putting in place a national leadership structure, possibly at ministerial level, that would formulate national ICT policies and a technology integration framework. The main task of such a leadership would be to spearhead the resolution or removal of the first-order barriers to technology integration by working with, and establishing partnerships between all stake holders (such as the state, public sector and civil service, private or business sector, civic organizations and both local and international investors and donors), with a view to raising funds for infrastructure development, IT integration and project implementation in line with the sourced funding and resources. With such a leadership structure, ICT policies and an IT integration framework in place, all the other constraints with their 123

An analysis of the integration of instructional technology 825 origins in lack of funding, including second-order barriers like teachers’ technology knowledge, skills and attitudes towards technology could then be tackled by designated committees and institutions within the established framework. The availability of adequate funding would reduce budgetary constraints and provide resources to build and improve infrastructure, pay for ICT and improve Internet access and connectivity. Funding would, for example, enable institutions to strategically introduce degree programs in ET for both pre- and in-service teacher educators and to put in place constant institutional and national staff development programs. These interventions would not only help in the development of lecturers’ conceptualization and understanding of ET or IT, but would also assist in improving the infrastructure, and resources, and enable the lecturers to acquire the relevant IT integration knowledge, skills and attitudes. Degree level education in ET would help in producing scholars who should be in the forefront of integrating IT, as well as researching the cultural and contextual relevance and application of subject content, indigenous languages and ET in Zimbabwe. Summary This study sought to find out the state of IT integration by university lecturers in preservice secondary school teacher education programs in Zimbabwe. We chose to study teacher education because of the broad and direct impact it has on public education in general. We note however, that our finding may well apply to virtually all other disciplines in Zimbabwean Higher Education as well. This study explored the lecturers’ perspectives and experiences on their integration of technology in instruction. The lecturers’ integration of IT need to be viewed in the context of the emergent nature of these universities, (established in the last 10–20 years, and with some of them still operating from temporary sites) which is characterized by the absence of adequate and appropriate infrastructure. Added to this context, most of the lecturers did not have any special training in ET, nor did most of them have much prior experience with computers. The finding that most of the lecturers used technological tools like OHPs, TVs, and VCRs for illustrating, highlighting or showing concepts in their lecture delivery, illustrates the lecturers’ media or hardware view and approach to IT integration. This is complimented by the finding that the few lecturers who used computers, used these just for preparing teaching and learning materials like handouts and OHP transparencies. The absence of resources—both hardware and software—and the lecturers’ own lack of preparedness to integrate technology, were given as the main reasons the lecturers were not using computers for instructional purposes. The lack of readiness was further confirmed by the lecturers’ lack of confidence and their uncertainty in their ability to do some critical IT integration tasks. Examples of such tasks are, describing how they would use IT in their classroom, creating a teaching unit that incorporates subject matter software, planning and implementing projects in which students use a range of ICT tools and helping students accomplish complex tasks in an ICT environment. This set-up also confirmed the absence of a systematic approach to what Schiffman (1995) refers to as the standard systems view or approach to instructional design by the majority of the lecturers. On the other hand, the positive impact of training in ET was shown by the shift from the media or hardware approach to the narrow systems view or approach to instructional design by the few lecturers with the post-graduate diploma in educational technology. 123

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